August 18, 2022

Volume XII, Number 230

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FTC Issues Report to Congress on Using AI to Combat Online Harms

On June 16, 2022, the Federal Trade Commission issued a report to Congress titled Combatting Online Harms Through Innovation (the “Report”) that urges policymakers and other stakeholders to exercise “great caution” about relying on artificial intelligence (“AI”) to combat harmful online content.

The Report comes after Congress in the 2021 Appropriations Act directed the FTC to examine ways that AI may be used to address a wide variety of specified harmful online content such as scams, deepfakes, fake reviews, opioid sales, child sexual exploitation, revenge pornography, harassment, hate crimes, incitement of violence, misleading or exploitative interfaces, terrorist and violent extremist abuse of digital platforms, election-related disinformation and counterfeit product sales.

The Report expresses concerns that AI tools can be inaccurate, biased and incentivize reliance on invasive forms of commercial surveillance. The Report finds that, given that major tech platforms and others are already using AI tools to address online harms, lawmakers should consider focusing on developing legal frameworks that would ensure that AI tools do not themselves cause harm.

The FTC voted 4-1 to send the Report to Congress and released separate statements on the Report from Chair Lina M. Khan, Commissioner Rebecca Kelly Slaughter, Commissioner Alvaro M. Bedoya, Commissioner Christine S. Wilson (concurring) and Commissioner Noah Joshua Phillips (dissenting).

Copyright © 2022, Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP. All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume XII, Number 178
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About this Author

In today’s digital economy, companies face unprecedented challenges in managing privacy and cybersecurity risks associated with the collection, use and disclosure of personal information about their customers and employees. The complex framework of global legal requirements impacting the collection, use and disclosure of personal information makes it imperative that modern businesses have a sophisticated understanding of the issues if they want to effectively compete in today’s economy.

Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP’s privacy and cybersecurity practice helps companies manage data and...

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